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Rover Deployment ALSEP Off-load


Loading the Rover

Corrected Transcript and Commentary Copyright © 1995 by Eric M. Jones.
All rights reserved.
Scan credits in the Image Library.
Video credits in the Video Library.
Audio clips by Dave Shaffer.
Last revised 10 May 2014.


MP3 Audio Clip starting at 117:54:22 ( 19 min 51 sec )

117:54:51 Cernan: (To himself) Okay, get to work.

117:54:54 Parker: Roger. We copy that guys. You're about 7 minutes behind right now.

117:54:58 Cernan: (Reading CDR-10) "LRV front configure." Whoops. Hold it.

[Cernan - "After we had unstowed the Rover from the LM and had assembled it, then we had to load it. We had to load the front end with all of its electronics, communications gear, and television, and the back end with all of our tools, all our collection bags, all our sample bags, everything else was all loaded on back there. The only big exception was the ALSEP equipment which Jack carried out to the site."]

[Gene will configure the front of the Rover, mainly installing the communications gear, and Jack will configure the back of the Rover, primarily installing the geology gear.]

117:55:03 Schmitt: (Responding to Bob's comment about being 7 minutes down) What!? Okay, we'll catch up. (Pause) I haven't quite learned how to pick up rocks in my hands yet, Bob, or I would've had you a sample. That's why I fell down. (Singing ) "My day will come." Oh! Oh! It's an old blue traverse gravimeter!
[Cernan - "This is a very characteristic expression of Jack's, always acting surprised when he finds 'the old brown whatchamacallit'."]

[As per checklist page LMP-9, Jack has gone to the northeast LM quadrant to remove the geopallet. Among other things, the geopallet contains a portable gravimeter which will be used at all of the geology stops. The gravity data will give information about the deep geologic density of the valley. Like everything else, the geopallet is stowed behind some thermal insulation. As Jack removed the insulation, the gravimeter and the other gear was exposed. The gravimeter is stowed on the right rear surface of the pallet. AS17-142- 21730 is a photo of Gene operating the gravimeter at Station 8 during EVA-3.]

117:55:33 Cernan: Okay. On the plains of Taurus-Littrow. What a valley. I'd like to cut through here, with a T-38, sometime.
[The T-38 is a supersonic jet aircraft and Gene is imagining roaring up the valley at about 500 knots. Journal Contributor Brian Lawrence notes, "The T-38 was in many ways the astronaut's personal taxi. They used it to save time in getting from one NASA location to another, etc. They also used it to keep their hand in (meaning that they used the T-38 to maintain proficiency as jet pilots)."]
117:55:44 Schmitt: That'll be the day.
[Jack says that, here, his intent was to mimic John Wayne.]
117:55:46 Cernan: Yeah, it will.
[There being no air on the Moon in which to fly a T-38.]
117:55:49 Schmitt: Whoa there.

117:55:50 Cernan: You never know.

117:55:51 Schmitt: Friend of mine...

117:55:52 Cernan: (Scanning CDR-10) "Install LCRU, lock posts"; I'll get that. Okay. That's the next big hooker, the LCRU.

[Cernan - "The LCRU (Lunar Communications Relay Unit) was a couple of big electronics boxes to handle the radio and TV. The whole thing was about 18 inches wide, about 6 inches high, and maybe 12 inches deep; it had dust cover flaps and, when we weren't driving, we could open the flaps and expose a radiator so that the LCRU could cool. We put it on the front of the Rover and, once we got that thing set up, we didn't even have to relay through the LM."]

[Schmitt - "Either the batteries or the LCRU cooled by using a wax reservoir. Probably the batteries now that I think about it. The idea was that the wax (3.5 pounds) would melt while you were using the battery and generating heat; and then, between EVAs, it would radiate and cool and the wax would harden again. The LCRU had mirror radiators."]

117:56:03 Schmitt: Okay, geopallet's off the LM.

117:56:06 Parker: Copy that.

[The geopallet consists of a two-part assembly: (1) the pallet which attaches to the rear chassis and the geopost; and (2) the gate which, as you face the Rover from the rear, can be swung open from left to right. The pallet contains a sampling scoop, a gnomon, a hammer, two sets of tongs, two extension handles, shown here with the scoop head attached, an LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle) sampler, the Traverse Gravimeter, and six Sample Collection Bags (SCBs). Jack will attach some of the tools to brackets on the outside of the gate for easy access.]

[Schmitt - "Eventually, that gate latch got dust in it and wouldn't work. On our last traverse, when we got to the LM, the gate was flapping in the breeze."]

117:56:09 Cernan: You know, you just got to take it easy until you learn to work in one-sixth g.

117:56:12 Schmitt: Well, I haven't learned to pick up rocks, which is a very embarrassing thing for a geologist.

117:56:18 Cernan: Yeah, I look like an elephant stumbling around here. (Pause) (Talking to himself) Careful with the LCRU. One dust cover came off. Careful with this baby (because of the relatively fragile electronics). (Pause) That's the real one (rather than a training version). (To Jack, who is mounting the geopallet on the back of the Rover) Boy, you sure move that Rover around when you do that. (Pause)

117:56:56 Schmitt: Hey! The geopallet is locked on.

117:57:01 Parker: Copy that. (Long Pause)

[Hardware on the inner surface of the geopallet locks onto the geopost. With the geopallet firmly attached, Jack is removing and discarding the handrails he used to grip the geopallet while he carried it.]

[Training films show installation of the geopallet on a Rover mock-up in the 1/6th-g airplane.]

117:57:25 Schmitt: I'm getting pretty good at throwing things. Already. (Pause)

117:57:56 Cernan: Man, that thing (a connector on the Television Control Unit or TCU) won't want to go on. That's because it's not in there. Put it in right, and it goes on. Okay, the power cable's on the TCU, Bob.

117:58:08 Parker: Got that. (Pause)

[The LCRU has two open sockets which fit onto a pair of short posts on the front edge of the forward chassis. Gene has fitted the LCRU onto the posts and then pushed down a simple lock on each post. He is now mounting the TCU in a "locking collar" on the front of the right-hand battery and is making an electrical connection to the LCRU.]
117:58:21 Schmitt: TGE (Traverse Gravimeter Experiment) is On. (Reading the display) 22...Oh, you just want the last ones. Okay, 07.

117:58:31 Parker: Okay. Copy that.

[Jack is powering up the TGE. Measurements can be made when the instrument is on the Rover or with it removed from its mounting bracket and set on the ground. Here, Jack is reading out numbers on the display. The display consists of three 3-digit numbers.]
117:58:32 Schmitt: 07. (Pause as he looks at LMP-10) God, (laughing hard) the dirtiest checklist in the world!

117:58:43 Cernan: Doesn't take long, does it? (Jack laughs) Doesn't take long. (Pause) Manischewitz, look at that go! Did you see that?

[Gene may have discarded some of the TCU packing or, perhaps, a dust or thermal cover.]

[The B. Manischewitz Company has long been a major American producer of kosher foods and, at least during the 1950's and into the 60's, heavily advertised its wines with the phrase "Man, oh, Manischewitz. What a wine." during Apollo 17, Gene often used "Manischewitz" as an exclamation or as a substitute for swearing.]

[As Gene discusses at 118:39:52, statements like his "Manischewitz, look at that go! Did you see that?" were later taken out of context by a writer of UFO books to "prove" that aliens had paid them a call.]

117:59:04 Schmitt: I wish you'd be more careful.

117:59:05 Cernan: What?

[Schmitt - "Throwing things was fun; but you also had to watch out you didn't hit somebody."]
117:59:07 Schmitt: (Laughing) No, no, no! Not the television camera! (Pause)
[Schmitt - "We were trying to upset the ground, Ed Fendell in particular, and make them think Gene was about to throw the TV camera. Ed was the person who remotely operated the TV camera from Houston."]
117:59:18 Cernan: Okay.

117:59:19 Schmitt: It's warm out here, you know? I'm certainly glad I got cooling.

117:59:23 Cernan: Okay, the TCU is locked in.

117:59:25 Schmitt: Houston, I've seen an awful lot of rocks, as I work here. They look just like those pyroxene gabbros that I mentioned. The pyroxene's iridescent in the bright Sun. The grain size is about, oh, between...Maybe the mean is 2 millimeters with max maybe up at 3 or 4. And it looks like predominantly a pyroxene plagioclase rock...(correcting himself) clinopyroxene, but I haven't looked at it real closely. (Pause)

118:00:16 Cernan: Okay, Jack. I'll set the rake on the...

118:00:19 Schmitt: Beautiful.

118:00:20 Cernan: ...on the seat.

[Gene is in the middle of CDR-10 and has removed the rake from the MESA and is putting it on his Rover seat. In a few minutes, Jack will attach the rake to one of the extension handles and fit it in a mounting bracket on the rear of the gate. For now, Gene is getting the rake out of the way so that he can unstow the antenna storage canister described below.]
118:00:22 Cernan: I just haven't learned...I'm getting more finesse now. I think you can overwork yourself, instead of making use of the one-sixth gravity.

118:00:32 Schmitt: Yeah.

118:00:33 Cernan: It's going to take a whole EVA to get familiar.

118:00:36 Schmitt: Well, I hope it doesn't. (Pause) I find I'm using my arms almost as much as I ever did. I remember the last time I was on the Moon: about 2 hours ago. (Pause) (To himself) Okay, guess what? That old hammer goes to the gate top. (Pause) The blue-handled hammer. What more could you want?

[Sometime between now and the flag deployment at 118:21:26, Gene will put the hammer in a pocket on his right shin.]
118:01:09 Cernan: Okay, Bob. I'm getting the low gain (antenna) out now.

118:01:14 Parker: Okay. Copy on that. (Pause)

[Both the low-gain and high-gain antennas are in a storage container stowed on the left side of the MESA. Retired RCA technical illustrator James Burns has provided a drawing of the antenna storage canister he did prior to Apollo 15.]

[During the traverses, the low-gain antenna (LGA) will be used for voice communications with Earth. Because a voice signal doesn't have to carry nearly as much information as a TV signal, the broadcast strength can be weaker for voice and the antenna pointing doesn't need to be more accurate than about 30 degrees. Gene will fit the antenna mast into a socket on his T-handle.]

[Cernan - "The low-gain antenna was a tube about an inch and a half in diameter and about 2 feet long. There was a handle on the mast, right in front of me, and as I drove the Rover, I could point it generally in the direction of the Earth. We could drive and maintain radio contact the whole time, and it worked out real well."]

[Apollo 17 is the only mission with Earth far enough from the local zenith that the Commander sometimes has to re-aim the low-gain while he's driving.]

[Cernan - "The high-gain antenna for the television was on the front of the Rover, as I remember, and we couldn't reach it (as we drove). We aligned it after we stopped; but, if it was, per chance, pointed at the Earth and we were driving in a straight line, we could have gotten television as well. We talked about trying to do that, but I don't think we did. I think 15 or 16 transmitted some TV while they were driving."]

[Scott and Irwin attempted to provide video during the drive from Station 9 to Hadley Rille, starting at about 165:16:09. That effort yielded only a few, very brief views of the right-front wheel and the lunar surface passing by underneath.]

118:01:30 Schmitt: (Referring to the Rover power-up) Felt like a Rover, huh, Geno?

118:01:34 Cernan: Beautiful. I just couldn't feel it murmur when I pressed the breakers in. I could see life in it, but...

118:01:39 Schmitt: (Doing a W. C. Fields impression) Hey, you let me down, sport. You let me down. There's a pin you didn't pull.

[Probably one of the deployment pins.]
118:01:43 Cernan: Okay, I'll let you get that; keep you honest.

118:01:47 Schmitt: Not only keep me honest.

[Schmitt - "It also kept me busy."]
118:01:49 Schmitt: There. (Pause) Okay. Where am I (on the checklist)? Okay. (Reading LMP10) (Punning) Gnomon's an island. Actually, up here, it's a geometric reference for photogrammetry.
[Cernan - "This is typical of Jack, including the bad pun. I know that I talked out loud about what I was doing, and I still do it today: I play golf and I talk to myself."]

[A gnomon is a short stick used for throwing a shadow, say on a sun dial. Although there are gnomons on many of the ALSEP instruments, here Jack is referring to the geologic gnomon which provides a shadow, a length scale for photographs, and also, because the shadow stick is gimbaled, a local vertical. The gnomon has a color chart and gray scale attached to one of its three legs and, for stowage, the gnomon legs fold together - rather like the stays of an umbrella - making a slim package that can be slid into a quiver mounted on the left side of the pallet, behind Gene's seat.]

[Journal Contributor Brian Lawrence adds, "I love Jack's pun. I started thinking about where the original saying 'No man is an island' and guessed maybe Shakespeare, and then discovered it was John Donne. It was published in 1624 and is from 'Meditation 17', from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions : 'No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.'"]

[Readers of a certain age may recall a far-worse use of Donne's phrase, in a Jefferson Airplane song. "No man is an island; he's a peninsula."]

118:02:20 Cernan: Would you believe that the doggone (low-gain) antenna...Here; Jack, when I bend this, pull the...

118:02:30 Schmitt: Okay.

118:02:31 Cernan: Pull the antenna.

118:02:32 Schmitt: Rather awkward.

118:02:33 Cernan: Pull the antenna. I got to open it up to get it out.

118:02:36 Schmitt: Okay. The connector, you mean.

118:02:38 Cernan: Yeah, connector is wedged in there.

[Schmitt - "We're getting the low-gain antenna out of its storage slot in the side of the MESA, and the connector - which may have been a separate piece - had gotten wedged."]

[This is probably the fitting for making an electrical connection to the LCRU.]

118:02:41 Schmitt: (Laughing) Well, that's probably the way it was designed.

118:02:44 Cernan: Boy, don't drop any of those connectors on the...(Discarding something) Look at that go. (Don't drop it) in the dust. We'll never clean them out.

118:02:55 Schmitt: Dum dee, dum dum dum. Good thing we're well-coordinated human beings.

118:03:06 Cernan: Man, I can't believe...Yeah, I can.

118:03:07 Schmitt: Okay, let's see. (Laughing) Do it right now.

118:03:10 Cernan: Yeah, I can.

118:03:13 Schmitt: See that?

118:03:16 Cernan: Yeah. (Pause) Which way are you going to put it on?

118:03:18 Schmitt: Well, I thought maybe I would put it on that way; so I will put it on this way, because that's probably right.

118:03:23 Cernan: If you put it on right, you're going to disappoint me.

[Jack is probably clipping the large dustbrush on the LCRU as per LMP-10).]
118:03:33 Schmitt: Oh, I hate to touch...I touched the old gnomon!
[The only touch-critical parts of the gnomon are the gray scale and color chart.]
118:03:38 Schmitt: I'll do my best to clean (it). Ray Batson will...

118:03:44 Cernan: Okay, Bob the low-gain is...

118:03:46 Schmitt: ...will never forgive me.

118:03:47 Cernan: The low-gain is hooked up.

118:03:51 Parker: Okay. We copy the low-gain hooked up. (Long Pause)

[Schmitt - "Ray Batson was the U.S. Geological Survey/ Flagstaff expert on photogrammetry and was the Godfather of the gnomon. He developed it so they could quantitatively control the stereopairs that we would take on the traverses. It provided a physical scale, a vertical reference, a gray scale and a color scale, and its shadow gave an azimuthal reference."]
118:04:16 Schmitt: (As a fanfare, rising in pitch) Da, da-da doe! The rake is on the extension handle. (Pause)

118:04:32 Parker: Roger, 17.

118:04:33 Schmitt: My kingdom for a scoop. (Pause)

[Many readers will recognize another literary reference, this one from Shakespeare's "Richard III". Jack is near the middle of LMP-10. Gene is probably installing the high-gain antenna, as per the bottom of CDR-10.]
118:04:43 Schmitt: The scoop is on the extension handle. Different extension handles of course.
[There were two extension handles, one for the scoop, one for the rake. After attaching the tool heads to the extension handles, Jack is fitting them vertically into brackets on the back of the gate. He will also fit a vise to the top surface of the pallet for the separation of drill stem sections and attach an SCB to the gate for additional sample stowage.]
118:04:52 Cernan: Go ahead Bob. Were you calling?

118:04:56 Parker: Roger. And your exuberance is showing up on the BTUs. You're running a little high on those.

118:05:03 Cernan: Okay.

[Figure 11-2a from the Mission Report shows Gene's heart rate for this first EVA and Figure 11-2b shows Jack's. Note that the elapsed times are relative to the actual time of launch, rather than the planned time of launch which is used here in the Journal text. Times on the graph must be increased by 2 hours 40 minutes to correspond to Journal times. Note that, at the end of the test drive at 117:55 (114:15 on the graph), Gene's heart rate reached a minimum of 100 beats per minute and has been climbing while he and Jack have been setting up the Rover. At this moment (115:25 on the graph), Gene's heart rate is rising above 130 beats per minute. Throughout this period, Jack's heart rate has been generally lower than Gene's. This first EVA is their most strenuous because of the Rover deployment, the ALSEP deployment, and, most importantly, the fact that they won't be spending much time riding on the Rover.]
118:05:04 Schmitt: Exuberance! I've never been calmer in my life. (Garbled)

118:05:09 Cernan: We'll take it easy, Bob. I think it's a great deal a part to just get accustomed to handling yourself in zero gravity.

118:05:18 Schmitt: The only vise on the Moon.

[From Jack's tone of voice, this may be intended as a pun. He is talking about the vise which is mounted on the back of the Rover and which Gene will used to break apart the drill stem sections of the deep core Gene will drill at the ALSEP site. And, of course, there was - at least in 1972 - no vice (in the sense of "moral depravity") at Taurus-Littrow.]
118:05:20 Parker: Rog. I thought you were at one-sixth g.

118:05:25 Cernan: Well, you know where we are.

118:05:28 Schmitt: Whatever. (To himself) Okay, old sample bag...Sample containment bag...(correcting himself) Sample collection bag (number 2), or whatever, is going (on the gate) (Garbled) (Pause) (Singing) "What is this thing called crazy." Come on. (Pause) Okay, that's there. Some of the simplest things in the world you forget. (Pause) Okay, let's get this right this time.

[Schmitt - "I was having fun. You're there and you're doing what you planned to do; and you might as well enjoy it."]
118:06:28 Schmitt: You did a great job of parking (the Rover), so I was standing in a hole.

118:06:33 Cernan: Don't want to mess up all those good looking craters around here. (Pause)

118:06:46 Schmitt: Oop! Hang on there accessory staff. Accessory staff, huh? Most staffs are accessory, I've learned.

[Jack is attaching the accessory staff to his handhold. The accessory staff has attachments for a map clip and a Sample Collection Bag (SCB). At times during the traverses, Gene will stop the Rover so that Jack can grab a sample with the LRV sampling tool to be described later. Once bagged, the sample can then be put in the SCB hanging from the accessory staff. After Jack finishes attaching the accessory staff to his handhold, he will put SCB-3 on it and will secure the top of the SCB in the open position by using a strap attached to the low-gain antenna lead. Apparently, this operation will take him a couple of minutes.]

[Training photo KSC-72P-363 shows Jack with his left forefinger on the top of the accessory staff. The handle of the LRV sampler is just below his left palm. The SCB in the lower right is attached to the staff.]

118:06:54 Cernan: Okay, Bob the high-gain (TV antenna) is up and connected.

118:06:58 Parker: Okay. Copy that. Beautiful.

[Gene is at the bottom of CDR-10. The high gain is an umbrella-shaped antenna about a meter across. It will be used for TV transmissions to Earth and, because the pointing must be very accurate, it has a sighting device. Gene has mounted the high gain in a "locking collar" on the front of the left-hand battery.]
118:07:00 Cernan: And raised.

118:07:01 Schmitt: Okay.

118:07:02 Cernan: Cable is Velcroed to staff. See if I can't get you a TV camera.

[Gene has attached the TV cable to the high-gain antenna mast, primarily so that it won't flop around. See a detail from AS17-134-20453. Gene is now getting the TV camera from its stowage slot in the MESA and will mount it on top of the TCU. He is at the top of CDR-11.]
118:07:09 Parker: We're waiting with breathless anticipation.

118:07:12 Schmitt: Ah, let's keep them in...(Listens to Bob)

118:07:15 Cernan: Well, how's my cooling doing? I'd like to stay on Intermediate, Bob. I feel pretty comfortable. I'm not cold but I'm pleasant.

118:07:22 Schmitt: (Guffawing) Pleasant? He thinks he's pleasant?

118:07:24 Parker: You're fine, no problem; your option, Geno.

118:07:29 Cernan: Okay, I just don't want to run out of consumables (oxygen and cooling water) about 6 or 7 hours (into the EVA).

118:07:36 Schmitt: You're about as...Oh well. Okay. I don't think it makes any difference. You got to use (means "get rid of") the heat. Matter of fact, that's one of the little known facts of this business, Gene.

118:07:49 Cernan: Okay, here we go. Coming up. I've got the TV camera in my hand, Bob. (Pause)

118:08:02 Cernan: Oh, man. Hey, Jack, just stop. You owe yourself 30 seconds to look up over the South Massif and look at the Earth!

118:08:07 Schmitt: (Pretending surprise) What? The Earth?

118:08:09 Cernan: Just look up there.

118:08:10 Schmitt: Ah! You seen one Earth, you've seen them all.

118:08:13 Cernan: No you haven't, babe. When you begin to believe that...Come on camera, go in there. (Garbled)

118:08:23 Schmitt: (Apparently still mounting an SCB on the accessory staff) I'll look in a minute, Gene. But I tell you, once I start this little operation, if I don't finish it, it never gets done.

[Schmitt - "Soon after we got back, somebody put out an environmental poster that said 'If you've seen one Earth, you've seen them all'."]

[Cernan -"Obviously, Jack and I have looked at the Earth differently. I think we had very different subconscious views of what we saw. That's always been true and it's probably true in all twelve guys. To me, the Earth was a very dominant part of our mission. It certainly made a statement. You could hardly not notice that it was visible. It was a dominant presence in our valley, without question."]

["For Jim Irwin, going to the Moon was a religious experience and, for me, it was a spiritual experience in terms of being there and looking back at the Earth, realizing the significance of what was going on. The piloting part was very important for me to do well, better than it had ever been done before. That's the nature of a pilot. And, as for the science - although maybe I shouldn't say this - it was a part of our mission but it certainly was not the overriding part of me, and it's not the part that's overriding for me in my memory bank at all. Of course, for Jack, for a geologist, the Moon was a utopia, a thing you would dream of your entire life. Well, I was not a geologist by trade or profession and, although I tried to be one for the moment, being on the Moon was more of a spiritual experience for me. Religion is what you make it, where you make it. But the mission did bring home to me, very clearly, that Science has a long way to go yet to find an answer for the creation of the small part of the Universe that I was privileged to see. It doesn't make any difference who your God is or how you address him; the Earth was just too beautiful to have happened by accident. There has to be somebody bigger than me who put it together. And when I say spiritual, that's what I mean."]

["Charlie Duke is a born-again Christian and who is to say that that might not have happened if he hadn't gone to the Moon. Jim Irwin looks back at it as a very religious experience, but Jim was like that before he went to the Moon. And Jack looks at it from a humanist point of view. What's important to Jack is what Man does with his life; and, although Jack's a very philosophical sort of guy, the creation of the Earth, from a philosophical point of view, is not something that he expresses himself on very strongly. But we all have different points of view. I had the experience of going to the Moon twice, of being able to go back and say 'Is this what I really saw? Is this what I really felt? Is this what it really looked like?' To have seven more days at the Moon to do that is a pretty unique experience in itself."]

[Schmitt - "On the trip out to the Moon, I had spent a lot of time looking at the Earth. I had this little program of meteorological observations that I wanted to undertake, so I'd already spent a lot of time looking at it, and so that's why I was acting a little more blasé."]

118:08:31 Cernan: (Talking to the TV camera) Okay, get in there. Okay, that's in there. That's in there. Camera is locked down. Okay. (Reading) TCU; sunshade to camera and then the cable. Okay, let me get the sunshade. (Pause)
[Unlike the TV cameras used on the early Apollo missions, this one is able to stop itself down in response to excessive light levels. However, the sunshade will minimize loss of information when the camera is pointed toward the eastern horizon.]
118:08:56 Schmitt: Whoo! That's always more of a job than it ought to be. However, SCB-3 is on the handhold. (Pause)
[What Jack means is that he has finished hanging SCB-3 on the accessory staff. Next, he will configure Gene's camera and, then, stow the spare film magazines and other gear in a fabric-enclosed space under Gene's seat. He is starting checklist page LMP-11.]
118:09:07 Cernan: I think I'm getting smarter about one-sixth g. (Pause)

118:09:13 Schmitt: That gate works great! Snaps in, snaps closed with the slightest flick of a coordinated wrist. Where is that (CDR) camera anyway? Oh, it's over here (on the MESA). (Pause) Oh, boy. (I can) just still barely see the scissors.

118:09:32 Cernan: (Chuckling) We ought to get those, before we go hungry.

118:09:35 Schmitt: I'm not sure I can.

118:09:36 Cernan: Okay, don't. Okay, we'll get them (the scissors) when we get the tongs out, Jack.

118:09:40 Schmitt: Yeah. There are some tongs in the Rover, and I'll come over and get them in a minute.

[Jack is getting the ETB off the ladder hook. He will take it to Gene's Rover seat and put film magazine Bravo (B) - also known as AS17-134 - on Gene's camera.]

[A bag can be seen hanging from the ladder hook behind the lefthand side of the bottom rung in AS17-134- 20482, which will be taken at the end of EVA-3.]

118:09:42 Parker: Roger, Challenger. And we refrained from mentioning that to Ron.

118:09:50 Cernan: Tell him I hope he's enjoying our scissors. Okay, Bob, the TV is connected to the TCU, electrically. The sunshade is on. I've got to deploy the high gain. (Talking to himself) Okay. Now...Well let's see how smart you are. That was a pretty good attitude you parked at. Okay. Jack, is the high-gain away from my (PLSS) antenna? Can you see?

118:10:24 Schmitt: Let me turn around. (Pause) Ah...Yes; you're clear.

[The concern here is catching Gene's PLSS antenna on the high-gain antenna.]
118:10:29 Cernan: Okay, it's locked. Locked. Now let me see if I can find the beautiful big dot (that is, Earth) up there. I know what I'm going to have to do. I'm going to have to get the...Oh, I got it right there! Might be able to peak that but I got that.
[Gene is trying to find Earth in the high-gain viewfinder. The optical sight is positioned such that it is easiest to find Earth if the Rover is pointing in the opposite direction (roughly northeast) and Gene is standing in front of the vehicle sighting back across it to Earth. This is the reason why, at most geology stops, he points the Rover at a heading of 045. As will be seen at the end of the third EVA, when he parks the Rover at its final location, 100 meters east of the LM, with the vehicle pointed at the LM and, therefore, more or less toward Earth, alignment of the high-gain will be very difficult.]

[Schmitt - "Earth is about four times as big in the lunar sky as the Moon is in the terrestrial sky; but you don't sense that because you have no other visual references for size. There are no trees or poles or houses or anything between you and the horizon that you can use to estimate how big the Earth is."]

118:10:56 Schmitt: You hit (means "found") it, huh?

118:11:01 Cernan: Put my hand over it, so I could see it.

[That is, Gene shaded the sighting scope with his hand.]
118:11:03 Schmitt: Hey, that's an interesting problem. Your seat (bottom) won't stay up.

118:11:09 Cernan: How about that piece of Velcro there?

118:11:11 Schmitt: That's just what I'm working on. There. Great minds think alike. (Pause) Okay, that goes in there. (Pause)

[There are pieces of Velcro on the seat bottom and on the seat back so that the bottom can be held up and out of the way while Jack or Gene work with gear stowed under the seats.]
118:11:29 Cernan: The trouble is to reach it (the viewfinder), I've got to...(Pause)

118:11:44 Schmitt: (To himself) Okay, I'll bet you it (meaning the checklist) says put Mag Bravo (on the CDR camera)...

[Jack is working at the CDR seat, loading Gene's camera and transfering equipment from the ETB as per LMP-11.]
118:11:47 Cernan: Oh, Earth is in the circle. (Consulting CDR-11) Okay. "Check LCRU. Deploy LCRU whip antenna." Okay. "Deploy the LCRU whip antenna. Blankets open 100 percent." (Pause) Come on, baby, open. Come on. There it goes. (Pause) Oh, are those mirrors nice. I hope they stay that way for a while. (Pause) They won't. (Pause) I know John (Young) and Charlie (Duke) know exactly what we're talking about.

118:12:38 Schmitt: Mark my words!

[The LCRU whip antenna is used to pick up signals from the backpacks for re-broadcast to Earth through either the low-gain or high-gain antennas on the Rover or the EVA antenna on the LM. Gene is opening the thermal blankets on the LCRU, exposing the radiator mirrors, and is about to power-up the TV.]
118:12:40 Cernan: Okay, I'm going to close the (LCRU) circuit breaker, Bob. Okay, circuit breaker is Closed.

118:12:47 Parker: Copy that.

118:12:48 Cernan: Power switch is Internal. Okay, let me give you some numbers. AGC (Automatic Gain Control) is about 3.4; temp is about 1.8; and power is about 2.1. Okay; Power to External.

118:13:20 Parker: We got those, Geno.

[There is a monitor switch and gauge on the left side of the LCRU control panel. The numbers on the dial are translated in the small chart just to the right of the gauge. A temperature of 1.8 corresponds to about 60F, and a power of 2.1 translates as a bus voltage of about 28. By going to Internal power, Gene was using internal LCRU batteries to power the monitoring devices. Once he has his readings, he switches back to the Rover batteries (External) for normal LCRU operation.]
118:13:25 Cernan: Okay, Power is External. Mode Switch is going to 2 - FM/TV. Okay. Man, did you peak out at signal strength of four-oh. I can't see right now, but I think I've still got you right in the center. (Pause) Okay, Power switch on the TCU. Okay, it's on the TCU. Okay, AGC and Power. Yes sir, Bob, I'm verifying at four-oh. That's a good Navy term, "four-oh" on the AGC.
["Four-oh" means "perfect" in Navy parlance. Gene is finishing the tasks on CDR-11.]
118:14:02 Parker: Copy that.

118:14:04 Cernan: And the TV is all yours...

118:14:05 Parker: Roger. Have you got a power reading there for us, Geno?

118:14:09 Cernan: ...I hope. (Responding to Bob) Okay, I'll give you a power reading, External, if you want it. I'll give you...Temp is still about 1.7 and Power is about 1.8 on External.

[TV on.]


Rover Deployment Apollo 17 Journal ALSEP Off-load